Managing Personal/Professional Relationships On Social Media Sites

By on February 7, 2011

It’s easy after a few months of working through your social media strategy to forget about the importance of the relationships you make along the way.

social media relationships

Courtesy of nexell.net

It’s easy to get distracted by your growing community of followers. It’s easy to become obsessed with the bottom line. But human relationships made on social media platforms can last, and transform into richly rewarding lines of communication.

How do you manage your personal and your professional relationships on social media? Is the one the same as the other? Probably not. You have your private Facebook page that you use for personal reasons, and you have your business Facebook page that you use for sales, community interaction, promotions and market research.

People on your personal pages follow you because they know you, and people on your business pages follow you because they benefit in some way from it.

Yet if you had to have a small sale now, the people from your personal pages would be the people buying. Can you guess why? Those are REAL relationships. A comment here, and a free gift there – only gets you so far in the eyes of the ever elusive community of nameless faces.

Wake Up And Smell The Trends

It’s 2011. Social media is morphing into something more than just ‘businesses’ and ‘communities.’ The businesses that are making the most money off social media are the ones that spend the most time nurturing genuine relationships. Start thinking of it as a full time job.

If you’re not on now, your not on to the world – so they’ll do something else. The only way to manage your professional relationships this year is to work at them – like you do with your real friends.

The Social Media Call Centre Theory

Imagine you had a person communicating on social media platforms 24/7, for your business. Can you imagine the possibilities? Someone live, whenever a direct question is posed. Someone there whenever a complaint filters through. That’s how you build a real relationship with your community. Friends expect you to always be there for them!

They expect to be contacted, filled in about your life and asked to participate in it. If we apply this set of rules to our management goals for our social media strategies – good things will happen.

Responsive community members. More people that trust you. People who care what’s happening in your business, and what promotions you are having. Online friends. We are approaching the Social Media Call Centre era, and we’re not prepared.

So, how do you manage your personal and professional relationships on social media sites? I handle them both the same way so that I can build real, rewarding relationships with people. That’s the only answer to give if you want to make money this year!

Tell us how you manage your personal and professional relationships on social media. Do you treat them equally, or does your business end seem a bit too clinical…?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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